Sunday, 16 June 2013
How do you know what the best decision is as a parent? Often you don't until after that decision has been put into place and sometimes it takes years to transpire whether you did the right thing or not.
An even harder question for parents to answer is, "How can I choose between my children?". Most parents would say they could not.
I still feel like I can not choose, yet I am also being reminded that I must if things do not start to drastically change. I am reminded that I need to make some tough choices when I see my older daughter's scars on her arm from where she self harmed, something she resorted to because of all the intense arguing and dysfunction within the family home. I am reminded that , yes, I may have to choose between my children when I come across paper with my younger daughter's scribbles on it. Paper on which she has recently written: "He" is horrible. I hate him. I wish I can see the people (she means the social workers). Please take him away. I can't take it any more. There is hardly any positive. I have no positive to think of". I am brutally made aware that no matter how hard I try to provide a stable and loving and "normal" life for my daughters, it is not a stable, loving, normal environment for them to be growing up in. When I try with all my might to ensure that my older daughter has a wonderful return home from a recent French exchange visit, my efforts are soon crumbled. I bought gifts, cleaned the house, made sure everything in her room was clean and fresh, put up balloons and banners, brought flowers to welcome her with, baked cakes, bought her favourite foods, made one of her favourite meals for dinner......all this was wonderful, yet when her brother finally came out of his room (1-2 hours after she arrived) and we started watching TV the usual arguments ensued and rather than be the older, more mature and understanding older sibling, her brother uses this to burst out in an aggressive manner and started calling her all the same, horrible, vile names and blaming her for it all. She of course reacts with screams and tears and storms up to her room. After nearly 6 weeks of not self harming, I fear that she might regress and start again. I go to see her and she is scratching at her marks and scars...but luckily we started talking and stayed upstairs...what a welcome home that was!!!
Then the next morning when my daughters and I sit down for a special breakfast, (since my daughter was not being fed the food she liked in France, the 1st few meal times I wanted to be special) and my daughter tells me how good I am to her and what a great mum she has.
Another piece of paper I find while cleaning up is my younger daughter's drawing of a tree. Above the tree it says "things I love about you". The tree has branches. On the branches there are words; love, hope, care, there are things you care about". Inside the folded paper it says "mummy I love you".
I feel like a cheat. A traitor. I feel I have betrayed my daughters and let them down and do not deserve these words. Obviously, they hate their home because of all the shouting, the aggression, the dysfunction...but they still love me and think I do wonderful things for them. How can I deserve that love while I allow their brother to live here and affect their lives and their developing emotional well being?
I can not choose...yet. I think if I offer my son all the support he needs and allow him to stay in a safe family environment while he hopefully starts engaging in services as well as the self actualization to want to get better and change, that surely is the best way forward. Yet, am I fooling myself and should I realise that the safety and comfort of home will never allow him to get to where he needs to be to want to get better? Does he need to hit rock bottom? Does he need to be rejected by everyone and be put out and turn to a life of a heroin addict sleeping in the street before he wakes up? Will he ever "wake up"? These are the questions that leave me paralysed and helpless and hopeless about what is the right decision as a parent and the serious realization that if I make the wrong decision I may loose him forever, or I may harm my daughters' long term psychological make up/happiness forever. How does a parent choose from that?